Local teacher makes his words come to life in new short film

  • Written by Deborah Stone

Pictured from left to right is actor Ethan Seneker (Bobby), Director Brendon Fogle and actor Roy Ketterer (Grandpa). Courtesy photo.
Brendon Fogle is a proud new papa. And “SYNC” is his baby – a short 8 ½ minute film he wrote, produced and directed last summer while on vacation from his job as a teacher.

A hometown boy, who attended Chrysalis School in Woodinville and graduated from UW, Fogle is new to the filmmaking industry.

He has always wanted to make movies, which is one of the reasons he chose to major in creative writing in college.

As a student, he worked on several films, but once he completed his degree, his life changed directions.

“I got married and then I had a family,” he explains, “and I had to get a job that would give me a stable income, so I went into sales.”

Four years ago, he got into teaching to provide him with a more predictable schedule so he could be around more for his kids.

He now teaches English, drama and film studies courses at Chrysalis School in Woodinville, a private, independent school for grades K-12.

“My parents founded Chrysalis,” says Fogle, “and I graduated from there. It felt natural for me to return.”

Once he began teaching, he resumed pursuing his interest in filmmaking, learning more about the field, volunteering on projects to get a feel for being on a set and writing his ideas for a script.

His students and the relationships he has had over the years with his own kids, his parents and his grandparents provided the fodder for his project.

“I noticed how my students were always walking around with headphones and they appeared disconnected from the world,” explains Fogle. “I knew they were listening to their music and that got me thinking about how it was before all the iPods and other devices were invented. I remembered my father playing his records and what a physical, tactile experience it was — holding the records, the smells they had, the memories associated with each of them. You don’t get that relationship with an iPod, but yet the iPod is portable and allows you to take your music with you everywhere.”

In describing “SYNC,” Fogle explains that the theme focuses on bridging the generation gap between a teenage boy and his grandfather with the help of a bond they form over music.

The project, which took two 12-hour days to film, used local cast and crew.

It was filmed in the theater room and offices at Chrysalis School last July. The cost was $3,000.

“Funding was a challenge,” admits Fogle. “I pitched the project via a website and got people to donate whatever they could with the incentive of various reward or perks, like receiving credits as a producer, a poster signed by the cast and crew, a copy of the film or a record from my personal collection.”

The process of making the film proved to be incredibly satisfying for Fogle. He felt that it went really well considering it was his first attempt and that he was under a serious time crunch. He enjoyed working with the actors and crew, most who volunteered their talents for the project.

“I can’t thank them enough,” says Fogle. “They helped make my story come to life. It was so exciting for me to see the story that I had created, the words that I had written, come to life and then become a movie. I loved every part of the experience and it just makes me want to do more.”

Now that the local man’s “baby” is in the can, the next step is to submit it to upcoming film festivals in the hopes that it will get shown to as many people as possible. Fogle has already shared the project with close friends and some film industry folks in the area and the feedback he has received has been very encouraging. He notes that people seem to really like the message of the story.

“It’s something that has broad appeal,” he comments. “I see it as a drama with humor rather than a comedy.”

Fogle plans to use this project as a way to demonstrate his skills. He adds, “I want it to be my calling card to show what I can do so that I can get to make more films or work on bigger projects.”

Currently, he is looking to expand on another short script he wrote and make it into a feature film. The subject – hoarding.

“It’s something I’ve been fascinated with,” he explains. “But, it’s definitely more of a grim, adult-related theme.” Fogle’s dream is for filmmaking to become his primary career. And if he is successful, the first actor he’d like to work with would be George Clooney. “To work with a talent like that would be incredible!” he says.

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